Conflict and Interfaith Dialogue in the Promise Land

For this week, Wednesday Forum held on March 13, 2010, Ms. Mucha-Shim Q. Alquiza, an ICRS-Yogya student, spoke in behalf of all tri-people Filipinos in Southern Philippines regarding Inter-faith Dialogue; and Dian Maya Safitri acted as moderator.

With her carefully chosen theme “From Mission to Transformation: Dialogic encounter of peoples of faith in the bleeding Promised Land.” Ms. Alquiza presented her paper in three parts. First, she showed to the attendees the methodology she used for her paper; which is Michel Foucault’s theory on Knowledge, Power and Governmentality. Second, she traveled the audience to Southern Philippines with the aid of a map showing the places where the Bangsamoro people inhabit before where they occupied majority of the land and the present state where the Bangsamoro people occupy bits and parcel now of the land; the history of the Bangsamoro People; and their population since the first time there was a census until 2000, it showed that the population of the Bangsamoro people has decreased. And the third part, she presented the history of the dialogic encounter of peoples of faith in Mindanao and Sulu.

She said that in Mindanao and Sulu, dialogue among peoples of faith has been one of the most resilient social movements for justice and peace. For a span of roughly 30 years from 1970-2000, it has been a period considered to be the most fruitful of interfaith encounters. She continued that among the gains of the Mindanao-Sulu people’s movements are the three peace processes (among the GRP and the MNLF, and the GRP and the MILF) which she bluntly said that two failed and one stalled, and the affirmation Mindanao-Sulu is multi-cultural and multi-religious. Mindanao-Sulu is a shared homeland to tri-peoples who are the Bangsamoro Muslims, the Indigenous Lumads and the Christian Settlers. These three are proud Mindanawon.

According to her, Mindanao-Sulu is all together a promised land and a bleeding land. She ended her presentation by stating that the problem or conflict in Mindanao is not religious as many outsiders believe, but it is about land and power.

After the interesting presentation, questions were given which she responded well. Prof. Dr. Bernard T Adeney-Risakotta asked her to explain the difference between MNLF and MILF, and does MNLF still exist until now; and why did she use Neo-Liberal Ideology in her paper. Another came from Maufur, the registrar of ICRS, who controversially asked her if it is true that Mindanao is the training ground for Muslim “soldiers� that in time be sent to West Asia, such as Afghanistan and Pakistan.

The forum ended at 2:30 P.M. as usual. The speaker received a warm applause from the audience. Mucha-Shim Q. Alquiza is a Filipino ICRS student who is the second presenter from the Philippines who discussed about the situation in the Southern Philippines.


This post is also available in: Indonesian


Leave a Reply